Reflection of Walking Together Event
On Saturday March 12th Marsha Sandstrom, Barb Austad, Justin Swanson, Pastor Marilyn, Claudia Balcom, Merry Yates and Emily and Zayley Crossfield attend the annual walking together event organized by the synod.
Walking together is a low stress day of gathering with friends in Christ throughout the Synod. It is about making connections, hearing stories of faith from others and knowing we are not alone in our struggles and our joys.
At the event there were
· More then 550 people worshiping and collaborating
· 40 workshops to chose from over 5 sessions
· Topics ranging from music to racism and social justice
· And a Great Lunch!
Here are some of our favorite moments.
My favorite thing about Walking together is starting out the day in worship with 500 other Lutherans. And from that worship heading off to hear learn from others experience from new ideas on how to reach out in your community, to ways to talk about money, to how to strengthen your spiritual life. There are options for everyone. I look forward to sharing with you some of the ideas and experimenting together as we listen to the Holy Spirit guide us in the ministry God is calling us to.
One of the greatness part of Walking together is sharing the experience with people from our church and sharing in fellowship. The group studies are a great way to hear what other churches are doing learning about different cultures. One workshop was on Muslim and he was able to share his journey as to what it takes to come to America and the struggles that they face. He was able to share how coming to our wonderful country also divides families for different reason. There is a wonderful short small group study handout on the Walking together web-site called “My Neighbor Is Muslim” that can be printed. It is written by Professor Todd Green on behalf of Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota. I have personally read the study guide and found it to be very educational and something that we as Christians should know so we can be culturally sensitive. Refugee facts and figures: 2015 – 19.5 million world refugees and the U.S. resettles ½ of 1% of them.
If I remember correctly I have gone to Walking Together for four years now. I recently took some time to reflect on why I keep going back every year. The short answer is; its fun and fulfilling. Looking a little closer I came up with this; it’s a social, spiritual and educational event. Social is pretty obvious, there are people that I see at this event every year. We get to talk about our lives, what’s happening in our churches and communities. This is were I feel the connection between our brothers an sisters in the synod; that we are part of something bigger then all of us. This is connection is near palatable in worship. So many of us rarely get to experience coming together in worship with over 500 people. Only when we gather as a synod does this happen. I can’t image 10,000 like the youth gathering or Churchwide. But this day is really set up so we can learn from each other. (The social and spiritual is almost like icing on the cake, still an important part though). I have often found a renewing energy with fresh perspectives. An energy that has often shaken things up and perhaps pulled you in a direction originally not thought of or unseen. There has been moments when I have left with more questions than answers. I feel that this part of spiritual growth, and this is place were we can grow together but also ask any question. I will always look forward to Walking Together; for the energy, connections and growth that happens. Because our faith journey is certainly not alone.